Primary preview: Colleen Hanabusa

As the primary election nears, KHON2 is taking a look at some of the key races and the race for U.S. Senate looks like a close one.

For the first time, Hawaii residents have a say in who they want to fulfill the late Senator Inouye’s term.

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) says she has a proven record and years of experience.

“We need people in the United States Senate who can literally pick it up and hit the ground running in a way in a way that Hawaii needs to make up for that big void,” she said.

Hanabusa, who was raised in Waianae, spent nearly 30 years as an attorney before entering public service in 1998. She’s held a number of positions, including Hawaii’s first female Senate President

“Those are the things that others see in you and recognize that you are the person they want to see lead and that’s what I would say is the greatest accomplishment,” Rep. Hanabusa said. “I guess it’s really more of a statement of my colleagues and how they feel about me.”

Hanabusa joined Congress three years ago and through it all, has never forgotten the advice the late Senator gave her.

“Never forget that you represent Hawaii and never forget that Hawaii is really what matters,” she said.

And if there’s one thing she wants the voters to know about her, that they might not?

“That I’m actually funny and that I have a sense of humor,” she said. “I tell people, you really think I’m this hard-hitting person? You should see me around my dog.”

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